Gillette bets $80 mil on women

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Gillette Co. is adopting a unified strategic positioning for its women's shaving products, to be communicated in a nearly $80 million marketing effort.

A $40 million global ad campaign breaks nationally in the U.S. today, and kicks off later this month in Europe.

In North America, the effort will receive $20 million in ad spending, with $11.4 million slated for TV and $4.6 million for print ads.


Themed "Gillette for Women--are you ready?" the campaign was created by BBDO Worldwide, New York, which also created the marketer's established "Best a man can get" positioning for men's shaving products. The new 30- and 45-second commercials are tagged with the response, "Yes I am."


The intent of the campaign is to position Gillette's products as an essential part of a woman's beauty regimen and as key to being physically and psychologically ready for anything, said Mary Ann Pesce, VP-female shaving, North Atlantic Group.

"Gillette for Women will carry us into the next century as we extend our reach among women of all ages," Ms. Pesce said.

Besides advertising, there will be extensive direct marketing in four major markets; 1 million consumers will receive both a SensorExcel for Women refillable razor and Satin Care shave gel.

In 10 cities, Gillette will sample the razor and other products in 10 to 20 high schools per city through homeroom bags given out to 14-to-15-year-old girls--an attempt to bring them into the Gillette franchise at an early age.

Specifically aimed at these young women is the recently introduced Gillette Sensor for Women in six bright color combinations.

Rounding out the effort is a new merchandising system for stores that showcases all Gillette men's and women's shaving products together.

An expanded version also allows for the display of related toiletries, such as Gillette deodorants/antiperspirants.


Ms. Pesce said the campaign will be used as a platform to launch new products in coming years--including, perhaps, a women's version of the Mach3 men's shaving system that bows this summer.

Gillette SensorExcel for Women has been driving the growth of Gillette's shaving business, posting an 84.4% sales gain for razor blades sales. That compares with a 31.1% sales increase for the men's SensorExcel, according to Information Resources Inc.

Copyright May 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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